It's a Wonderful Life
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
This is director Frank Capra's classic bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey (James Stewart), the eternally-in-debt guiding force of a bank in the typical American small town of Bedford Falls. As the film opens, it's Christmas Eve, 1946, and George, who has long considered himself a failure, faces financial ruin and arrest and is seriously contemplating suicide. High above Bedford Falls, two celestial voices discuss Bailey's dilemma and decide to send down eternally bumbling angel Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers), who after 200 years has yet to earn his wings, to help George… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The most well-loved of all Christmas movies."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"It's a Wonderful Life is a pretty wonderful movie."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"The inspirational, thoroughly festive ending is guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes."
‑ Marc Lee, Daily Telegraph
"This masterpiece from Frank Capra still has a lot to say about community spirit and is a film with much more to it than feel-good sentimentality."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"This classic delivers warmth all year long."
‑ Randy White, Common Sense Media
"It's a Wonderful Life is about hunger. It's about greed. It's about the many ways a good man is stymied. Finally, it's about George Bailey, whose decency prevents him even from killing himself."
‑ Rich Cohen,
"The epiphany of movie sentiment and a transcendent experience."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"It's both a summation of Capra's own career and a peak of achievement for a gentler kind of American cinema"
‑ , Sky Movies
"This is the all-time great, curl-up-on-the-sofa-with-a-cup-of-tea movie. Not only is it beautifully photographed, but it also contains enough emotional strength to hold your attention for all of its two-hour running time."
‑ , Total Film
"Is the movie corny? Often. Is it moving in the most basic, moral way? Every year we watch it."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"Capra is an old-time movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director. But all of his details give the impression of contrived effect."
‑ Manny Farber, The New Republic
"The April-air wholesomeness and humanism of this natural bring back vividly the reminder that, essentially, the screen best offers unselfconscious, forthright entertainment."
‑ Bert Briller, Variety
"I love it, corny as it may be, because it reminds every one of us that we all make contributions to the people around us, contributions we ourselves don't even realise."
‑ David Stratton, At the Movies (Australia)
"I wasn't able to get reasonably straight about it for quite a while. I still think it has a good deal of charm and quality, enough natural talent involved in it to make ten pictures ten times as good, and terrific vitality or, rather, vigor."
‑ James Agee, The Nation
"One could use It's a Wonderful Life to teach their children values: compassion, selflessness, loyalty, and self-respect."
‑ Gabe Leibowitz, Film and Felt
More reviews for It's a Wonderful Life on Rotten Tomatoes

More Like This